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Skylarking - Kate Mildenhall


By: Kate Mildenhall

Paperback | 1 August 2016 | Edition Number 1

At a Glance


RRP $29.99



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Kate and Harriet are best friends who are growing up together on an isolated Australian cape in the 1880s. As daughters of the lighthouse keepers, the two girls share everything, until a fisherman, McPhail, arrives in their small commmunity. When Kate witnesses the desire that flares between him and Harriet, she is torn by her feelings of envy and longing. Ultimately, a moment of skylarking in McPhail’s hut will change the course of their lives forever.

About the Author

Kate Mildenhall is a writer and education project officer, who currently works at the State Library of Victoria. As a teacher, she has worked in schools, at RMIT University and has volunteered with Teachers Across Borders, delivering professional development to Khmer teachers in Cambodia. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in Hurstbridge, Victoria.

Review by Caroline Baum

Lighthouse Lit. Lighthouse Cinema. It’s a thing. The novel and imminent adaptation of M. L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans, Joanna Murray Smith’s novel Judgement Rock, Shirley Barrett’s film South Solitary and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement

Now, for her impressive debut, Victorian writer Mildenhall has turned to a real life story of two friends who grow up on an isolated Australian cape in the 1880s. In her richly imagined version, Kate and Harriet share everything, until a fisherman arrives in their small community and upsets the emotional harmony of the two young women. Naturally, the force field that disturbs their equilibrium is attraction. I don’t want to say any more as part of the joy of this novel is the finely calibrated unfolding of the young women’s natures.

The other quality that makes this such a pleasurable read is the fine observation of the natural world. Mildenhall takes you to a wild and windswept place so believably that you can feel the wind on your face. And there is a bracing, invigorating energy to the way she writes about friendship in this place where danger is all around - on the rock ledges the girls look down from, daring each other to the edge… in the water below and on the beach where there are mussels to be harvested.
Industry Reviews
‘Kate Mildenhall’s impressive debut novel takes an historical case and re-imagines it with such sensitivity and insight that we feel this must be how it truly happened.’
Emily Bitto

‘Skylarking is a strikingly real and deeply moving meditation on adolescent friendship in all its complexities—a heart-wrenching work.’
Olga Lorenzo

‘A brave, beautiful and richly textured book that delicately explores the fault lines in love and friendship.’
Lucy Treloar

‘Mildenhall is at her best when she is exploring the complex relationship between these two young women as their burgeoning sexuality begins to cause problems within their tiny community.’

Other Books By Kate Mildenhall

The Hummingbird Effect - Kate Mildenhall

RRP $24.99


Skylarking - Kate Mildenhall


RRP $29.99


The Mother Fault - Kate Mildenhall

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